Macadamia Castle defends itself against COVID-19 challenges
THE Macadamia Castle has faced several challenges in recent years, including a downturn due to the bushfires and the impact from the new Pacific Highway route on normal trade.
Now they are facing their greatest challenge as the undetermined closure on businesses due to COVID-19 lockdown poses the challenge of how to sustain 150 animals without tourists.
The dynamic and dedicated team is making sure the animal park looks better than ever for when they can open their doors again.
"Unfortunately, due to government restrictions, we were forced to temporarily close the animal park on March 30, however our fine foods and gift store remain open from 10am-2pm Monday to Friday," said owner Tony Gilding.
'We have a team of 11 gardening, cleaning and painting, installing new infrastructure and improving the castle building and grounds."
Mr Gilding said they were in discussions with local schools around providing virtual tours.
The closure poses a significant challenge with weekly expenditure on animal welfare alone at $3000.
"Our 150 animals still need to be fed and cared for, our staff need to be paid and our electricity, water and rates expenses remain as they were," he said.
"This is obviously a tricky situation when we are receiving no income from visitation or our café but we are deeply committed to managing the situation as best we can, keeping our staff employed while maintaining morale.
"Since the new highway opened, we have lost 50 per cent of our space to freeway noise.
"We have made desperate pleas to the State Government to give us some of their unused land in return but no luck yet.
"And in the meantime we are always hopeful that the Roads Minister will respond to our desperate plea for a land swap so that we can secure the castle's future and continue our important community work."